Laminate floors get their stylish appearance by layering an image (be it of wood, tiling or other designs) inside a protective plastic coating. Refinishing laminate flooring is not possible, so it’s important to follow a cleaning process that maintains the original finish.
Remember: when you clean your laminate flooring, you’re actually cleaning the finish, not the laminate underneath.
If you don’t know how to clean laminate flooring, don’t worry. It’s a very simple process. The most important thing to remember when cleaning laminate flooring is to minimise the amount of water coming into contact with your floor.
A mop that has been well-rung and left to stand for ten minutes contains the maximum amount of moisture necessary to clean a laminate floor.
Always dry-clean your floor first by running a microfiber dusting pad or soft bristled broom along the skirting boards and up and down the length of the room. Just make sure when you do this you don’t lift the mop and drag grit and dirt underneath it. Your aim is to push all of the debris ahead of the mop/broom, not under it.
Use your vacuum’s hose attachment to vacuum up the perimeter of your room and around any furniture legs/bases.
Mist your floor with water, Universal Cleaner (diluted to the recommended amount as per the bottle) or the cleaner recommended by your laminate flooring manufacturer (this will help ensure your warranty remains valid).
Mop the floor with a different microfiber pad, misting as you go. Your floor should air dry within a few minutes. If it doesn’t, towel it dry. Don’t wet mop laminate floors because water can seep behind the baseboards and damage your flooring.
Maximise the lifespan of your laminate flooring by following these simple cleaning tips:
Dust mops or vacuum cleaners with soft bristle brushes are suitable for cleaning laminate flooring.
Don’t use wax, polish, oils, soap-based detergents, shine enhancers, acidic or abrasive cleaners, or varnish on your laminate.
Applying cleaner directly to your laminate flooring could cause discolouration, always spray it on a cleaning cloth or mop beforehand.
Remove heel marks by rubbing them with a pencil eraser.
Remove stains from laminate floors by dabbing the stain with rubbing alcohol on a cloth. Allow it to stand a few minutes then rub dry. Repeat if necessary. Finally, wipe any remaining cleaner off with a well rung damp cloth.
The easiest way to remove candle wax from laminate flooring by scraping it with a plastic knife after it has hardened.
Chewing gum can be removed by freezing it with a piece of ice then scraping with a plastic knife.
Following basic preventative maintenance advice will ensure you get the maximum life out of your new laminate flooring. Carpet call recommends taking the following maintenance steps:
Place colour-fast floor mats in high traffic areas, including both inside and outside of doors, to avoid wear on your laminate flooring.
Use floor protectors on furniture legs (especially on the dining table and study chairs as the area under these experiences the most wear). The heavier the piece of furniture is, the wider the floor protector should be.
Always lift furniture when moving it in or out of a room. Never drag furniture over laminate flooring.
Use cotton, natural material, or felt rugs on your laminate flooring. Rugs with a vinyl or rubber backing can trap moisture underneath them and discolour laminate.
Use a floor mat between rolling chairs and laminate floors to protect the floor from damage.
Maintain a shoes-off indoors policy to stop dirt at the door. Never wear high-heeled shoes or shoes with cleats when walking on laminate flooring.
Keep animal nails trimmed to prevent scratches.
Protect your laminate flooring from sun damage. Exposure to the sun and its UV rays can discolour laminate flooring. Carpet Call recommends closing the blinds or curtains in laminated rooms that you’re not using, and occasionally re-arranging rugs and furniture so that the floor ages evenly.
Rearranging heavy furniture helps prevent indentations in your laminate flooring.
If you live in a beach-side area it’s a good idea to dust sand away regularly.
Rooms with laminate flooring should be well-ventilated.
Keep a constant indoor humidity level of about 50 – 65 % relative air humidity to best preserve your flooring.
Never use steam cleaners or steam mops on laminate flooring. They force steam (moisture) in between laminate tiles and sheeting that can compromise the laminate’s finish and cause it to warp or lift.
Inspect your flooring on a semi-regular basis to make sure you fix any damage or wear before it spreads.